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Efficient and Cost-Effective Enzymatic Conversion of Lignocellulose Feedstock to Useful Bioproducts

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0021457
Agency Tracking Number: 0000263861
Amount: $1,649,934.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: C51-34a
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2021
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-04-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2024-04-03
Small Business Information
2531 West 237th Street Suite 127
Torrance, CA 90505-5245
United States
DUNS: 114060861
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Yes
Principal Investigator
 Anamika Ray
 (310) 530-2011
Business Contact
 Kisholoy Goswami
Phone: (310) 530-2011
Research Institution
 Oklahoma State University
203 Whitehurst Hall
Stillwater, OK 74078-1020
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

The Department of Energy is seeking the development of novel, cost-effective and energy efficient enzymes for the deconstruction of lignocellulose. To support the bioeconomy as an alternative source of fossil fuel and other value-added products, dedicated energy crops are grown as non-food plant biomass to provide a finite source of lignocellulose. Lignocellulosic biomass could replace petroleum and natural gas as the raw material in many areas, from transportation to textiles and offer the opportunity to create new products. During the proposed project, we will fine-tune a suite of reusable lignocellulose degrading enzymes immobilized to magnetic nanoparticles. Overall, the proposed product consists of a suite of engineered and purified enzymes that will effectively deconstruct lignocellulose cost- efficiently. The magnetic nanoparticle immobilized enzymes are expected to significantly improve reusability, stability, and distribution of the catalysts with less aggregation, while reducing operational costs. Phase I successfully demonstrated engineered enzymes to 90% purity. Magnetic nanoparticles were synthesized, and representative biomass degrading enzymes were immobilized with 95% efficiency. The enzyme-magnetic nanoparticles complexes were stable over a period of 2 months with the enzymes retaining statistically significant activities for biomass breakdown. In Phase II, we will fine-tune the engineered and purified enzymes to form enzyme cocktail. This formulation will be validated with sweetgum lignin and as a representative biomass. We will conduct a detailed technoeconomic analysis of free and immobilized enzymes to determine the effectiveness of immobilized enzyme cocktail. The proposed product would find an immediate application in the enzyme catalyst market to produce biofuels and bioproducts. Lignocellulose biomass is a renewable resource that can be converted into high-performance products. The biggest hurdle to widespread adaptation is the cost-to-benefit aspect and the inefficient enzymatic deconstruction, which our product aims to address.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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